Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Elphin Meet

For a change the meet to the SMC's Naismith Hut in Elphin was oversubscribed, people no doubt drawn by the area and the good weather forecast.
Saturday saw Denis, Mark, Judith, Bruce and Morna enjoy an ascent of Canisp. For good measure mark then continued to Suilven, traversed it and ran back to the hut. There's always one... Meanwhile Roddy, Joe, Rod, Ann and John did Conival and Ben More Assynt. The latter three continued over the South Top of BMA on a ridge that has apparently been compared with the Aonach Eagach in Glencoe. While it is certainly pleasant, it is in quite a different league. At the other end of the scale Luigi and Manu had a score to settle on Stac Pollaidh. They had abandoned an attempt on November Grooves this time last year due to rain, so the bright sun of the morning was very welcome.
Sunday breakfast brought the familiar sound of heavy rain on the roof, leading to a relaxed breakfast and an early return home for all.

Near the summit of Conival

Along to Ben More Assynt

The summit of Ben More Assynt
Onto the South Ridge of Ben More Assynt

Airy in places...

...with great situations

Easy tramp off at the end

Friday, May 15, 2015


Back to the blog with a report from last month of a trip to Rum over the Aberdeen holiday weekend. John & Ann had been waiting for a suitable weather window for this trip for a few years and this was our chance. John had never been into the hills on Rum despite sailing around it and anchoring there dozens of times. The only complicating factor was that the skiing was still excellent and we didn't want to give up on that. So a compromise was reached with us skiing on Aonach Mor on the Friday, then over to Rum first thing Saturday for a little backpacking trip around the island.
Warming up on Spikes

Up onto Stob an Chul-Choire

Aonach Beag looking tasty

First we headed out west and over the rounded Orval in warm sun- quite a contrast to the steep snow of the previous day. Not the most exciting walk but superb views, and our first two eagles of the trip. We descended to Harris and found a good spot as far east as possible, just off the end of the raised beaches. This was to maximise our chance of getting a sunset, which looked just possible from the azimuth data. We were well rewarded.
Rum from campsite near Arisaig

Canna from Orval

Easy going on Orval, Skye behind

Rum Cuillin from Orval

Harris sunset 1

The next day it was up early for a traverse of the Rum Cuillin. It lived up to its reputation as a cracking day out, the only downside being that we got fairly dehydrated in the warm dry air with no water up on the ridge. The 2l that we were each carrying wasn't enough for such a big day out and the first stream on the way down was welcome relief.
Morning visitors to the tent

Sgurr nan Gillean

The rest of the ridge

Towards Ainshval

Traversing the twin summits of Trollaval

Hallival and Skye from Askival

The Askival Pinnacle

Harris sunset 2
We got back to the tent just in time for another spectacular sunset and a welcome sleep. The final day was a walk out on the landy track to the centre of the island before a sneaky ascent of our final Marilyn on Rum, the featureless Mullach Mor. This gave us more good views before a descent to Kinloch and a very interesting tour of the castle.